Most of the houses along Washington Highway and Berryman Drive have taken down their Christmas lights, but are now sporting green or yellow icicles. The sides of houses are splashed with a deep brown substance and sidewalks are also spotted with the stuff.
Initial suspicions focused on “blue ice,” the frozen human excrement known to fall from passing jetliners, but the FAA investigated and quickly dismissed that possibility.
“The local flight standards inspectors investigated the situation and determined it was not from an aircraft,” FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac.
The Amherst Town Supervisor’s Office said that they are looking into the situation.
“We have contacted our emergency services people and we also have a waste water treatment plant in town and the interim engineer for that is trying to get the debris tested,” said Lisa Kistner, a spokeswoman for the town supervisor.
One resident provided Kistner with her own theory.
“We received a call this morning from a woman who owns a house on the same street, Washington Highway. She gave us her explanation because it happened to her last year,” Kistner said.
“She said it’s actually because the seagulls eat fast food at McDonald’s, which upsets their digestive tract. They were eating French fries out of paper bags… As soon as she got the fast food restaurants to make sure all of their trash was cleaned up in their parking lots, she no longer had that problem,” Kistner said. “She suggested that someone check the fast food parking lots because that is probably the root cause of this issue.”
Bird experts who have seen pictures of the goo agree that they resemble bird droppings.
“The splotches we see on the siding are consistent with what we would expect from a large flock of birds such as European starlings, a species that is found in large numbers in upstate New York at this time of year,” said Miyoko Chu, a spokesperson for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology after looking at video of purple splotches on house sidings.
But after seeing additional video showing green and yellow gunk on homes, Chu was baffled.
“More recent footage shows larger areas of greenish yellow wash, and we do not know what that is,” she said.
Chu wasn’t so sure about the French fry-eating seagull theory.
“The size of the droppings would suggest to me that it’s a smaller bird than a seagull. Small numerous droppings on siding are not what you expect to see from seagulls, which are larger birds,” she said.
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